Parliament will be sovereign

Parliament can make mountains out of any molehill in the UK, once we have left the EU. It is curious that those most hostile to our departure from the EU now claim to  be the most protective of the very Parliamentary sovereignty they so wantonly gave away. They need not worry.  Out of the EU,  Parliament can debate and vote on anything it wishes. It can hold government to account and change the law any day it likes.

The synthetic anger over the so called Henry VIII clauses in the Great Repeal Bill are just such a phoney war and a false tenderness towards the UK Parliament. The government has made clear that all substantive changes to EU laws, ranging from a new immigration policy to a  new fishing policy, will of course need primary legislation. Parliament can shape and influence that to its heart content, in a way it could never do when the rules were laid down by the EU.

The so called Henry VIII powers, often used to drive through EU matters, will only be used for government to make technical changes to existing EU law to make sure it does still work as UK law! That surely is something the Remain people should like, as presumably they welcome the continuity of much EU law as UK law.

It is a curious feature of the modern debate that the Remain supporters in Parliament want us to talk about nothing but Brexit the whole time, and then complain that we do not debate and vote on it enough. As one who welcomes Parliamentary scrutiny and debate on the use of power  I have no problem with Parliament doing this. Parliament does, however, need to have some sense of balance and proportion. We need to complement the many hours of debate and scrutiny of the UK’s position on Brexit with proper use of our powers in many other areas, and more debate of the needs and tactics of the rest of the EU.

It is fine for the Opposition to criticise or demand more of the government. It should also be the loyal Opposition, recognising the impact its words may have on the UK’s position in the EU talks.

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  1. Lifelogic
    Posted April 17, 2017 at 5:22 am | Permalink

    I hope parliament will indeed restore its sovereignty, but have considerable doubts that it will do this properly under May. We are rather more likely to end up with some dreadful, damaging and expensive fudge. She was after all quite prepared to lie about the UK having “control of its borders while in the EU through Schengen”. This to try to trick the electorate into a remain vote, has she really changed? She even want to build on workers EU employment “rights” which will destroy jobs and damage workers rights. She seems to lack any sensible economic vision, as most of these left vicar types do.

    We need to lead the way out of the EU with a strong economy. Theresa Milliband’s misguided economic policies will not do this, we need a smaller government, cheaper energy, far more freedoms and far fewer regulations. She and Hammond are clearly barking up the wrong tree with more regulation and ever more taxation. She even want more religious segregation and thus discrimination on religious grounds in schools.

    • Hope
      Posted April 18, 2017 at 8:08 am | Permalink

      We read reports she thinks there will be a two year negotiation followed by a transition period! Why? Is this to allow her to walk away after securing a bad deal like Cameron? Leaving her successor to pick up what she could not bring herself to do, again, like Cameron because they are remainers and want to give every opportunity for remainers to change our minds?

  2. Lifelogic
    Posted April 17, 2017 at 5:27 am | Permalink

    The forces of remain in Parliament, the Lords, academia, the BBC the main political parties and the state sector are still huge. These need to be defeated. I am not convinced that ex(?) remainers May will deliver.

    • Ed Mahony
      Posted April 17, 2017 at 10:52 am | Permalink

      ‘The forces of remain in Parliament, the Lords, academia, the BBC the main political parties and the state sector are still huge. These need to be defeated’

      – This all sounds a bit Manichean. You leave out a large amount of people in business who also voted Remain.
      We must all support Brexit now, but at same time, try and persuade those who do have anxieties about the future, in particular the economy. Unless we do, tensions about Europe will drag on for years and years and years.
      And important as Europe is (our relationship with, whatever that may end up to be), there are many, many other important non-Europe issues that we have to get on and deal with NOW.
      So we can’t afford to be disunited.

      • Jerry
        Posted April 17, 2017 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

        @Ed Mahony; “We must all support Brexit now, but at same time, try and persuade those who do have anxieties about the future, in particular the economy.”

        Indeed, these Brexit fundamentalists who keep complaining, always seeing a conspiracy that will mean the UK will ‘Remain’, are probably doing more damage than even the most europhile person or group can. Even those who support Brexit but do not share the fundamentalists must be having doubts.

        • Ed Mahony
          Posted April 18, 2017 at 8:08 am | Permalink

          There is so much more to British politics than Brexit (important as it is). If we neglect all the other important things, then this alone, will seriously negatively effect our country for years.

      • matthu
        Posted April 17, 2017 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

        Members of the House of Lords, main boffins in academia, bigwigs in the BBC and the state sector have over the last 40 years been largely hand-selected in order to perpetuate a particular world-order that believes in globalisation, redistribution of wealth and investment in renewables.

        Just like the US, we have our own swamp to drain.

        • Ed Mahony
          Posted April 18, 2017 at 8:04 am | Permalink

          Again, you conveniently leave out all those in business who voted remain.

          ‘Just like the US, we have our own swamp to drain’

          – Do you mean the US through the eyes of hard right, populist Republicans such as Steve Bannon or more centre-right, globalist Republicans such as Jared Kushner.
          Hard-right Republicanism under Trump has proven to be a disaster. He’s now quickly shifted to the centre right as he knows if he carries on with Steve Bannon and co, his Presidency would go down as one of the most disastrous in American history.

      • getahead
        Posted April 17, 2017 at 6:09 pm | Permalink

        The Burrage report shows that the Single Market has been no advantage to Britain at all.

        • Ed Mahony
          Posted April 18, 2017 at 8:00 am | Permalink

          Again, you don’t have to persuade me. I’ve been supporting Brexit now for quite a long time. I suggested you had persuade all those in business who voted remain (who Lifelogic conveniently left out in his list of Remainers).

          If Brexit’s going to be a success, then we need to persuade everyone to get behind it.

      • libertarian
        Posted April 17, 2017 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

        Ed Mahony

        There are 5.6 million business people in the UK , how many do you think voted leave and ( heres a hint) how many of the big tax avoiding multinationals do you think voted remain?

        • Jerry
          Posted April 18, 2017 at 7:38 am | Permalink

          @libertarian; I’m sure you will answer your own question Walter, but it will be no better than anyone else’s guesstimate….

        • Ed Mahony
          Posted April 18, 2017 at 7:56 am | Permalink


          Come on. Our economy is absolutely dependent on the multi nationals. Whatever their evils, ignoring their concerns about Europe is absurd.
          Also, many small to medium sized companies, who trade heavily in Europe, also voted to Remain.
          Again, i say we should all support Brexit, but not ignore the genuine concerns of people, in particular those in business who depend so much on the EU for trade.
          If not, the whole EU debate will go on for years and years and years.

  3. Peter Wood
    Posted April 17, 2017 at 5:30 am | Permalink

    Good Morning,
    Thank you for this confirmation. In all the current smoke and noise it can seem that the critical ‘must haves’ as the response to the Brexit vote, namely:
    1) Only the UK parliament can propose and make UK law
    2) UK courts are the final arbiters of UK law
    3) sole control of UK sovereign land, sea and air.
    4) No further payments of any kind to the EU political body.
    may be watered down.
    I have seen that the EU negotiators seek to have the security issue left outside the terms of our future relationship with them. (who is cherry-picking now?) This must be refused. The UK is a whole; economic, politic and security. If you seek to do us harm in any area then we can respond in any area.

    • Jerry
      Posted April 17, 2017 at 8:18 am | Permalink

      @Peter Woods; Unless the UK is going to act as a ‘rouge nation’ like North Korea post Brexit you are quite wrong when it comes to your points 1, 2, & 3, the UN (international law in other words) is the final arbitrator.

      As for your last paragraph, is the UK not committed to NATO, just as the EU and the EU27 are, would the UK seriously damage NATO in a fit of peak at the EU?

      • Edward2
        Posted April 17, 2017 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

        The UN has no powers to force any democratic elected Government to do anything.
        I can’t think of any action they have been able to force a democratic sovereign country to do against their will.
        What would they do?
        Fine us?

        • Jerry
          Posted April 18, 2017 at 7:43 am | Permalink

          @Edward2; Never heard of UN sanctions (that can be trade based)?… Never heard of the International Court of Justice, basically the UN’s court?…

          • Edward2
            Posted April 18, 2017 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

            International Court in the Hauge is for criminal acts like genocide.
            UN sanctions on member states have to be voted on.
            The UK has a veto being one of the security council members.

          • Jerry
            Posted April 20, 2017 at 6:57 am | Permalink

            Edward2; You really should start checking your facts…

            Let me help;

            Yes the UK has a Veto at the UN, but do you really want the UK to start behaving in the same way as we rightly criticise others (most recently Russia), or worse be seen by others as a “Rogue state”?

      • Narrow Shoulders
        Posted April 17, 2017 at 9:06 pm | Permalink

        @Jerry “rouge nation” are we tarting ourselves up for the rest of the world now we are heading for divorce from Europe?

        Maybe we should show a bit of leg too.

      • Peter Wood
        Posted April 17, 2017 at 11:58 pm | Permalink

        Hello Jerry.
        Your First point, the disputing nations must both agree to place their grievance before the court, it is therefore optional.

        No-one is suggesting leaving NATO or any failing any other current security obligation. However there are clearly many other forms of assistance that we provide, otherwise the other EU negotiators wouldn’t bring it up!

    • ian wragg
      Posted April 17, 2017 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

      Precisely Peter. What’s the betting we finish up with some fudge where we still contribute to the EU budget and are part of the Customs Union.
      If this turns out to be the case, I think it will be goodbye to the Tory party in 2020.
      Maybe the only thing that will ensure we get out in 2019 is the fact that there is an election 12 months later by which time any skeletons will have emerged from the closet.

      • Jerry
        Posted April 18, 2017 at 5:56 am | Permalink

        @Ian Wragg; “If this turns out to be the case, I think it will be goodbye to the Tory party in 2020.”

        Well perhaps, and it will be another ‘victory’ for UKIP, Mr Corbyn in 10 Downing Street – perhaps as part of a LibDem and SNP, Green and/or PC coalition!…

        Sorry but most Tory party supporters/voters have more sense than to start throwing their toys about, cutting their own noses off in the process, just because the UK (might have) had to agree a compromise.

    • Peter D Gardner
      Posted April 18, 2017 at 1:12 am | Permalink

      The term ‘control’ is imprecise. There are always constraints that limit the scope of control. What is required is sole decision authority to rest with UK. A good example is fisheries. UK decided to sign up to the UNCLOS. This obliges UK to manage stocks of fish jointly with contiguous states in cases where the stocks cross the boundaries demarcating the sovereign waters. But decision authority resides exclusively with the sovereign state. So UK decided to share control but it was its own decision to do so and should differences arise, the final decision will be UK’s alone. This is also what is required in every area with respect to the EU. On immigration we can respect the interests of the other states, but UK must retain sole authority to decide matters for itself where there are differences of interest or opinion.

  4. alan jutson
    Posted April 17, 2017 at 6:15 am | Permalink

    I would have thought the whole point of wanting to be an MP was to try and make a difference in the way the Country is governed, and you can only do that if :

    You are in power

    You can debate and take decisions

    Why on earth would any politician want to give those powers away, to be decided by another country, with no involvement by themselves.

    • Brian Tomkinson
      Posted April 17, 2017 at 8:17 am | Permalink

      That has been a mystery for over 40 years. Maybe most just feel comfortable being overpaid social workers and being told what to do by a foreign power.

      • DaveM
        Posted April 17, 2017 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

        Not even really social workers – just votes in the commons to pass through the cabinet’s legislation. The party whips are so all-powerful, look what happens to MPs who dare go against the party lines.

    • Jerry
      Posted April 17, 2017 at 8:48 am | Permalink

      @alan jutson; Makes one wonder why any politico in the USA bothers to become a politician at their State level, in deed on the same score why does any politico here in the UK bother to become a County Councillor?…

      Besides what MP doesn’t want to be at least a Minister, even though they might publicly deign such ambition, and in such a role many are able to try and make a difference in the way the EU is governed. Our host was at one time a Minister who had policy dealings with the EU, the fact that he seemingly could not persuade his opposites within the EU of the merit of his proposals is irrelevant to the fact that he did try to make a difference and would have had he been able to win the argument.

      The problem is not so much the EU but the fact that the EU is broadly politically centrist with small “s” socialist leanings, hence why those right of centre-right and those left of centre-left both want out, without Brexit they stand no chance of enacting their policies.

      “Why on earth would any politician want to give those powers away, to be decided by another country, with no involvement by themselves.”

      Indeed and something the supporters of the SNP must ponder every day… I take it that you would be in full support of the SNP having another indyref, and indeed for there to be a ‘border poll’ in NI should the nationalist request it, otherwise are you not being rather hypocritical in your criticisms?

    • Robin Wilcox
      Posted April 17, 2017 at 11:06 am | Permalink

      Well in the case of the Lib Dems they know they will never be in power so having our laws made by the EU is more to their liking. Maybe the same could be said of Labour and as for be SNP they will accept anything rather than have those horrible English.
      As for why any Conservative would want the EU making our laws.. beats me !

    • English Pensioner
      Posted April 17, 2017 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

      It provides a means for both Governments, MPs, Civil Servants, etc to avoid responsibility. They can respond to any complaint, “We’d like to help, but unfortunately EU rules prevent us from doing what you want”. It’s makes a change from blaming “Government Cuts”.

      • Duyfken
        Posted April 17, 2017 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

        Which is also why Cameron must have been pleased to need to form a coalition with Clegg/Lib Dems, to give him an excuse for failing to implement Tory policy.

        Full marks to Alan Jutson for his observation highlighting the questionnable reliability of some of our Tory parliamentary representatives. May they be rooted out.

        The big question-mark is that of Theresa May, and I find favour with the opinions volubly and frequently voiced by Lifelogic – we are yet to see what may be her true colours.

      • getahead
        Posted April 17, 2017 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

        Reminds me of the line in the Eddie Cochran song.
        “I’d like to help you son but you’re too young to vote.”

  5. margaret
    Posted April 17, 2017 at 6:21 am | Permalink

    I quite agree. Businesses in the general want stability (unless they are trying to run it down for a reason) and hot headed , careless stances will not help us in the long run. Diplomacy does work and there is a need to use all sensible avenues to achieve what want.

    • margaret
      Posted April 17, 2017 at 6:43 am | Permalink

      correction what ‘we’ want.

  6. Mike Stallard
    Posted April 17, 2017 at 6:29 am | Permalink

    I am not clear about how the government intends to trade with the EU after the Great Repeal Bill comes into force and after the 29th March 2019.
    Can someone please enlighten me?

    Reply. The government does not trade. Individuals and companies will trade under a free trade agreement registered at the WTO, or under WTO most favoured nation status as we do at the moment with all non EU countries.

    • Len Grinds
      Posted April 17, 2017 at 7:07 am | Permalink

      It is immensely frustrating to see John Redwood repeating these deceptions. The truth is that the UK trades under WTO most favoured nation status with almost NO countries. We trade on the basis of the myriad rules agreed between the EU and third countries, covering free trade agreements but also, in the absence of a free trade agreement, matters such as customs co-operation, mutual recognitions, etc.
      We lose the benefit of every single one of those deals on Brexit day, and we will need to renegotiate them, and we will do so from a position vastly inferior to that enjoyed by the much bigger and much more powerful EU bloc.

      Reply Agreements with third countries novate to both the Uk and the residual EU unless the third country wants to object. Wny would they?

      • Richard
        Posted April 17, 2017 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

        They would object because the EU is ten times the size of the UK, and therefore they know they can extract a better deal from the UK than they can from the EU.
        It is a simple question of power.

      • acorn
        Posted April 17, 2017 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

        Keep in mind; there is no concept of “novation” in the EU Treaties, the WTO knows that. The day we leave the EU, we become a “Third Country”, WTO members know that as well.

        The EU will re-register its agreements with WTO members. The EU tariff and quota schedules remain somewhat dynamic as it has expanded its membership over the last decade or so. The WTO has not and will not pick a fight with the EU. The EU (and the US) rules the WTO … OK.

        • Len Grinds
          Posted April 18, 2017 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

          Yes, quite so. I have no idea what Mr Redwood means when he speaks of “novation”. I fear it is yet more misleading comments to his readers, aimed at concealing the true implications of Brexit.
          The EU has a host of agreements with third countries which continue unaffected by Brexit, because the EU continues to exist.
          By contrast, the UK needs to negotiate to get its own deals afresh. The UK can certainly say to third countries “we would like to trade with you on the same terms as we used to when we were members of the EU, so how about it?” And the third countries will reply “come off it, you’re a tenth as strong and, as a market, a tenth as attractive to us as the EU, so you are going to have make some pretty big concessions before we play ball”

          Reply If you do not understand novation do not put up silly comments about it.

          • Richard
            Posted April 18, 2017 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

            Please, Mr Redwood, explain what is incorrect about Mr Grinds analysis, rather than resorting to personal insults.
            He makes clear that novation does not happen unless the third country agrees to it, and that there is no incentive for the third country to agree.
            So please explain, Mr Redwood.

            Reply There is every reason for the third country to agree that their Agreements novate to both the rest of the Eu and the UK as successors to the original deal, as it still benefits the third country!

      • libertarian
        Posted April 17, 2017 at 6:54 pm | Permalink

        Les Grinds

        Really? My word you are somewhat ignorant of international trade

      • Peter D Gardner
        Posted April 18, 2017 at 1:35 am | Permalink

        PS bottom line is that it would be very difficult for the EU to impose terms on UK less favourable than ANY of its terms with other countries.

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted April 17, 2017 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

      Mike – You have been told the answer to that so often I’m surprised to see you asking it yet again. Just for a change why not ask: How does Japan trade with the EU ? Or South Korea, USA, Canada, China ?

      • Richard
        Posted April 17, 2017 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

        South Korea?
        On the basis of the EU -South Korea free trade agreement.
        Which, on Brexit, the UK walks away from

    • libertarian
      Posted April 17, 2017 at 6:56 pm | Permalink

      Mike Stallard

      Governments dont trade with anyone

      customers buy things from sellers, always have and that will continue , no matter what nonsense politicians get up to.

  7. ChrisS
    Posted April 17, 2017 at 7:24 am | Permalink

    The activities of the Remainers is a matter of real concern. There is clearly a whole section of the establishment that is hell bent on frustrating Brexit by any means necessary. This movement undoubtedly includes organisations and individuals with significant influence and access to the media. Of course, the most significant player of all is the BBC, in direct breach of the terms of its charter.

    I am sure that Mrs May will push through with Brexit against this unholy alliance however, there is a very significant risk that their activities will have a very significant and adverse impact on the A50 negotiations.

    There are many leaders amongst the 27 and in Brussels who are in denial. They simply don’t believe that we will go through with Brexit. After all, they have proven experience in being able to force member states to hold second referenda reversing the decisions their people made at the first. Then there is the debacle of the European Constitution which was pushed through against the wishes of voters of many countries by reclassifying it as a Treaty.

    Despite the evidence of 1,000 years of history, they have still not understood and accepted that the British people and Westminster, the very cradle of democracy, are made of sterner stuff. Neither do they think that Mrs May would ever walk away rather than accept a poor deal.

    This will undoubtedly cloud their attitude in the negotiations as many players on the EU side will think they can frighten us into Remaining by giving us a bad deal.

    In this they are profoundly wrong.

  8. Simon
    Posted April 17, 2017 at 7:46 am | Permalink

    John; trust in Governments in general is at an all time low. And what they specialise in are misleading statements cleverly crafted by lawyers which therefore fall short of being lies. The Brexit process has had a long litany of them already. Remember both deals all to be done in two years ? So any assurances on Henry VIII clauses not being misused in any way are understandably and quite rightly being treated with huge suspicion and cynicism. We also can not rely on the complete shambles of the Labour Party to exercise and kind of meaningful over sight on the process either. The Great Repeal Bill is an absurd nonsense from beginning to end which will absorb absolutely vast amounts of legal / civil service resources, will cause multiple huge messes, and will achieve virtually nothing at all. A colossal error of historic magnitude.

    Finally John in relation to your reply about WTO terms then words simply fail me.

  9. David Price
    Posted April 17, 2017 at 7:50 am | Permalink

    That magic word – “loyalty”.

  10. JoolsB
    Posted April 17, 2017 at 8:10 am | Permalink

    Parliament may be sovereign but unlike the rest of the UK England will still be totally under the control of the UK Government made up of MPs from across the UK. Whilst May has included the devolved nations in the Brexit talks on many occasions, not once has any one been included in these talks to represent England. Davis has now further insulted the English by insisting some of the laws coming back from Brussels will be repatriated to Edinburgh, Cardiff, Belfast and London. In other words the Scots Government, Welsh Assembly, Irish Assembly and the UK Government.

    No surprise that the word England has not been uttered once by any of our self serving politicians let alone any power for it.

    • DaveM
      Posted April 17, 2017 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

      Which is surprising considering Davis has long been an advocate for an English parliament of sorts. I’m hoping he has an ulterior motive here somewhere.

    • The Prangwizard
      Posted April 17, 2017 at 8:04 pm | Permalink

      I am with you JoolsB. It is foolish for anyone to imagine that a Unionist in the Tory party will put England first. England and the English are expendable.

      Even our host who claims to speak for England is a deceiver. And from past experience it is possible this comment will not see the light of day.

  11. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted April 17, 2017 at 8:23 am | Permalink

    It is quite clear that most MPs are still determined to thwart Brexit. They cling to the hope that their tactics will bring about a situation where the decision to leave the EU will be reversed. I’m tired of hearing their faux acceptance of the referendum result, when it is clear they don’t – just like Blair and Gina Miller.

    • Brian Tomkinson
      Posted April 17, 2017 at 8:30 am | Permalink

      Speaking of Blair; why is the Attorney General reportedly intervening to prevent him being the subject of a private prosecution relating to the 2003 Iraq war?

      • sm
        Posted April 17, 2017 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

        I would imagine at least one contributory factor is that permitting such a prosecution would set an awkward precedent.

      • Peter D Gardner
        Posted April 18, 2017 at 2:52 am | Permalink

        Because the case is brought by a foreign interested based on a crime “aggression'” that does not exist in UK criminal law. The principle at stake is not whether Blair is guilty of a war crime but whether criminal law should be decided by judges or by Parliament. It sticks in the craw, as my one and only public protest in my entire life was to march against Blair’s invasion of Iraq, but the Attorney General is right: the supremacy of Parliament over judges and courts must be upheld, it should be returned to its historic position of supremacy over all institutions of the state. That is why we are leaving the EU. It is noteworthy that the common modus operandi of all the wreckers and Remoaners fighting against Brexit is to undermine or corrupt those institutions.

  12. Bert Young
    Posted April 17, 2017 at 9:02 am | Permalink

    Regaining our right to govern and decide for ourselves is paramount . Without this control elections , voting and democracy are meaningless . Re-starting our independence does mean modifying and changing those laws the EU imposed – hence good old Henry is necessary for a period of time .

    Naturally the trade that takes place with EU countries is important for the continuity of established businesses and the relationships that have been established since we joined the Common Market ; the same is true in reverse . The deal that is struck has to take all this in its stride and emerge with a reasonable and sensible result . Cool heads are needed by both sides .

    • getahead
      Posted April 17, 2017 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

      Not many cool heads in Brussels, I suspect. An awful lot of indignation, mind.

  13. Prigger
    Posted April 17, 2017 at 9:09 am | Permalink

    It won’t be sovereign on Easter Mondays if stock market opening dates are a guide.The US and Canada are open for business along with Japan but others including the UK are having a belated last supper and lie in.

  14. Anonymous
    Posted April 17, 2017 at 9:29 am | Permalink

    Parliament may well be sovereign. Will it represent the People ?

    Leaving the EU is merely the first step. The reason we are leaving the EU is because of uncontrolled immigration and it exists because the majority of British MPs want it. They are still there. Are they listening ?

    It’s no good a sovereign Parliament which fails to align with what the majority of people want on this most critical of issues.

  15. E.S Tablishment
    Posted April 17, 2017 at 9:41 am | Permalink

    “The so called Henry VIII powers…will only be used for government to make technical changes to existing EU law to make sure it does still work as UK law!”

    This was made clear in the House and at Parliamentary Committee level countless times.
    The Opposition say they do not trust government. It says government will do a vanishing conjuring trick with some of the laws. Curious how Labour, Lib Dems and the SNP trust to the ultimate degree of neglect and carelessness very un-famous un-elected people in the EU to make our laws. Their idea of demcracy is Turkey-like or perhaps Ostrich-like is a better, older but mixed metaphor.

  16. Antisthenes
    Posted April 17, 2017 at 9:49 am | Permalink

    You highlight what many of us observe the paucity of logic and common sense in so many of those especially in politics and the media who wish to influence and lead us. It is depressing to behold those who profess to be so knowledgeable and state that they are tirelessly working in our best interests to be in fact ignorant of that of which they pontificate and work tirelessly only in promoting opinions that serve their self interest.

    In this mediocre world that designer progressive socialism is creating it is common practice for not just them but the rest of us to make assumptions and demand actions based on partisanship and irrational thinking. Pointing out the hypocrisy and inaccuracies arising from doing so is pointless. Idealism drives so many of us that practical realities and the obvious are unacceptable as it forces us face up to our responsibilities and into putting in the effort to provide for ourselves. For Europhiles it is not about democracy or sovereignty it is about expanding the pool of those who they can pass on their burden of responsibility and whose pockets they can empty for their own fulfilment.

    • Peter D Gardner
      Posted April 18, 2017 at 2:59 am | Permalink

      I would go further. For many EUphiles it is not so much about finding others to blame or lining their pockets with other people’s money – these are bonuses. What unites al these diverse self-interested groups is that the EU is anti-democratic and is supreme over democratic governments. This suits anyone who has failed to persuade others to accept their views and is nevertheless determined to impose their view by law.

  17. rose
    Posted April 17, 2017 at 9:52 am | Permalink

    “a phoney war and a false tenderness … ”

    This same phenomenon is appearing in Scotland, Wales, and Nothern Ireland, where the very people who treacherously supported foreign rule, now want to fight with London over powers repatriated from Brussels.

  18. Eh?
    Posted April 17, 2017 at 10:18 am | Permalink

    I shall have to read up on Vice President Mike Pence.Maybe we shall see more of him than we thought. Hope so. His grandfather was a bus driver in Chicago. What is it about buses??!

  19. John Probert
    Posted April 17, 2017 at 10:28 am | Permalink

    The Opposition is unstable and unable to see the damage it is causing itself
    and to the important negotiations

    I see Tony has had no success

  20. fedupsoutherner
    Posted April 17, 2017 at 10:38 am | Permalink

    It can’t come soon enough John. Any chance of repealing the Climate Change Act before we leave? If it takes even as little as two years to leave the EU can you imagine the billions it will cost us before we can do that? We need to stop the nonsense now. Whether Mrs May will be strong enough to deliver remains to be seen and I see that even Andy Murray has written to the UK government asking them to keep up the green religion. He should stick to tennis! He will have no problem persuading Sturgeon to keep putting up wind farms after all it’s the English that pay the bulk of the subsidies which in turn fund various community projects in Scotland.

  21. mike fowle
    Posted April 17, 2017 at 10:50 am | Permalink

    The Remainers who complacently assumed that we would stay in the EU are no doubt those who jeered at the Tories for obsessing over Europe. Now they are the ones who keep banging on about Europe.

    • Ed Mahony
      Posted April 17, 2017 at 7:56 pm | Permalink

      Most Remainers and Leavers aren’t THAT bothered by the EU either way.
      In the sense, they’re more concerned about things such as: loving relationship with their spouse and family, job satisfaction and enough money for house and holidays and pension, good sex, good friends, worried about disease, getting old, and death.
      And they’re also concerned about important non-EU issues such as NHS, education, national security, terrorism, Syria, North Korea, Trump, traffic, crime, and so on.
      It’s only those on the extremes of in / out of the EU blowing things out of all proportion.

      • Ed Mahony
        Posted April 17, 2017 at 7:57 pm | Permalink

        In other words, whether we’re in or out of the EU it’s not going to make THAT much difference to MOST people’s lives.

  22. John Probert
    Posted April 17, 2017 at 10:56 am | Permalink

    I think Parliament will be Sovereign

    Phase 1
    The government is prioritising the time it has (2yrs not long)
    to implement the Sovereign frame work.
    Within the frame work will be much EU law

    Phase 2
    Once the EU negotiations are finished (2yrs has passed)
    Our Sovereign Parliament will have as much time as it needs to
    remove or change the original EU laws (The Repeal Bill)

    The government is right to do this and in fact it is the only
    practical way forward

    So patients will be required

    • Richard
      Posted April 17, 2017 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

      Patients will indeed be required, given that there will be 350 million a week to spend on them

  23. Robin Wilcox
    Posted April 17, 2017 at 11:02 am | Permalink

    I agree with this John. It’s surprising how many MPs have suddenly become bastions of Parliamentary scrutiny having spent 40 years waving through all EU laws without any scrutiny whatsoever. What’s more they would have been perfectly happy to continue to do so.
    Surely this change in attitude means they must all be Brexiteers now ? Or are they still seeking to frustrate, undermine, delay and prevent the UK leaving the EU ? LOL I know which my money is on !

  24. NHSGP
    Posted April 17, 2017 at 11:12 am | Permalink

    Again, you just show why you have lost it.

    “Parliament will be sovereign”

    You could have said, out of the EU, now MPs will dictate what others have to do. There’s no difference.

    You still do not get it. You and parliament have created the mess. The 12.5 trillion pounds of debts [plural]. The complexity when it comes to the law. The mess of taxation. The failure to educate children to a decent level. It goes on and on and on.


    • Andy
      Posted April 17, 2017 at 6:54 pm | Permalink

      Actually the Sovereign is SOVEREIGN.

    • Peter D Gardner
      Posted April 18, 2017 at 3:02 am | Permalink

      Round objects. (Churchill)

  25. norman
    Posted April 17, 2017 at 11:27 am | Permalink

    ‘Parliament will be sovereign.’ Four lovely words that are music to my ears, and which trim the sails of the good ship Britannia, as she makes for the freedom of the open seas once more! May all the nay-saying landlubbers soon catch the vision, though there’s bound to be some who’ll complain of sea-sickness all the way!
    To me, the most important outcome will be our freedom – above all, the freedom to re-discover the values that made our nation (still within living memory) generally at peace with itself, and (overall), a force for good in the world. I’m quite clear about who needs to be at the helm, the source and direction of the wind that is needed, and the potential outcome of the journey. All is not lost.

    • Anonymous
      Posted April 17, 2017 at 8:24 pm | Permalink


  26. Richard1
    Posted April 17, 2017 at 11:44 am | Permalink

    Very sensible argument in favour of free trade and of an EU-UK free trade deal by German Economics professor Hans-Werner Sinn. He opposes the dirigiste integrationalist model which also calls for threats and punishment for those who don’t like it and leave. Let’s hope sensible voices like this win out in the EU:-

    • Andy
      Posted April 17, 2017 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

      I’m afraid I doubt that sensible Voices will win out. It is not the EU way. I’m afraid I’ve been disappointed by the attitude of the Continental Europeans. They have painted themselves into a corner: had they come out and said ‘we regret this decision, BUT the UK has always been different and special because of her contribution to our freedom in two World Wars. So we will adapt and offer a new Treaty . . . ‘ they could have defused their problems. Instead we got threats and insults and a general nasty attitude, which will probably result in no deal and buckets of bad blood.

  27. Anna
    Posted April 17, 2017 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

    The Remainers profess great agitation regarding the loss of ‘workers’ rights’ when we leave the EU, forgetting that many of these rights such as the minimum wage and safety at work were actually UK laws, passed by our own parliament.

    While it is true that there are a number of influential Remainers who are determined to sabotage our departure if possible, they are not so numerous as the remain vote suggests. Whereas most Leavers were convinced of their position, many Remainers were, like me, deeply distrustful of the EU, but were fearful of the consequences of leaving. We are braver now, and the polls show that the majority now want the exit achieved as smoothly as possible. It is the Remainers who are anti-democratic and by seeking to wrong-foot the government at every juncture, merely weaken our position. I was shocked to read that Julian Barnes, a writer I admire, was quoted as saying that he hoped Brexit would bring disaster and that all the Leavers would be punished. (Presumably, Remainers, by their virtue, would be untouched by any negative effects.) I find that a truly chilling sentiment: to wish ill on your country and poverty and misery on its people in order to have the satisfaction of being proved right.

    I don’t understand why the EU can lay down, without discussion, the agenda and timetable of negotiations as though we are a vassal state to be dictated to. By what right, for example, do they insist that our ‘leaving bill” must be settled before negotiations can begin? Or that certain matters will, or will not, be part of the negotiations. Surely these are matters for preliminary agreement by both sides and not subject to EU diktat?

  28. bigneil
    Posted April 17, 2017 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

    Totally Off Topic.

    In the last few days I have seen a mention that more and more schools are sending letters to parents of the pupils, asking for “regular payments” to be set up to help fund the school. I cannot be the only person who read this with complete astonishment. This, and previous, govt throws billions away to other countries, while telling us we are £1.6+tr in debt, STILL carries on throwing billions to the HS2 train, despite ever increasing cost predictions ( no problems – taxing the public seems to be a limitless resource) and throwing £50m a day to the EU – with them demanding a multi billion pound payout out
    ( which will clearly be followed by many more demands) for us to “leave”.

    Isn’t it about time the UK govt started looking after the UK people whose work/taxes have built this country – instead of paying the 3rd world to come/takeover and bleed us dry.

    • fedupsoutherner
      Posted April 17, 2017 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

      Spot on Bigneil. The way successive governments have carried on spending on frivolous projects is disgraceful.

  29. acorn
    Posted April 17, 2017 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

    Clifford Chance LLP, have posted ” BREXIT What will the Great Repeal Bill do?” Well worth a read.

    “UK Government promises to introduce into Parliament a Great Repeal Bill that will do three things: Repeal the European Communities Act 1972; Preserve all EU and EU-derived law as it stands immediately before the UK’s departure, allowing Parliament or, as appropriate, the UK’s devolved legislatures to decide later what to keep, amend or repeal; Enable changes to be made by secondary legislation to preserved EU laws that would otherwise “not function sensibly” after the UK’s withdrawal from the EU so that the UK’s legal system “continues to function correctly”.

    “The first of these steps – repeal of the ECA – is not strictly necessary for the UK to withdraw from the EU. The Government’s three aims could be achieved by a minor amendment to the ECA. However, the symbolism involved in repeal of the ECA is something that the Government evidently regards as an important element in its being seen to implement the people’s vote in the referendum of 23 June 2016. The ECA must go, as must various other pieces of primary legislation concerning the EU, such as the European Parliamentary Elections Act 2002 and European Union Act 2011.”

    “Even these near 27,000 legislative acts do not represent all the EU law or EU-derived law applicable in the UK. Some EU law is implemented by freestanding UK legislation. So, for example, the Seventh Company Law Directive (2006/43/EC), concerning company audits, is covered by Part 16 of the Companies Act 2006 …”

    “The Great Repeal Bill therefore risks taking back control from Brussels only to hand it to Whitehall. This lack of real scrutiny for secondary legislation leads to the question as to what freedom the Great Repeal Bill should give the Government in formulating its secondary legislation.”

    “At one extreme, the Government could have power to do whatever it wants provided that the area in question is already occupied by EU law, even to the extent of allowing secondary legislation to change primary legislation. (A provision allowing secondary legislation to change or repeal primary legislation is commonly referred to as a Henry VIII clause after the Statute of Proclamations of 1539 which gave that sovereign – who had earlier brought about a different kind of break with Europe – wide power to rule without reference to Parliament.) This would represent a major and, in modern times, unprecedented transfer of effective legislative power to the executive.”

    Just like Turkey did yesterday. Anyway, in the next two years, at least, it will be demonstrated just how useless our “lobby fodder”parliament is; and, just how powerful Downing Street will become. We might as well accept the inevitable and take the “executive” (cabinet), out of the HoC and elect El Presidente / Prime Minister separately. Basically adopt the US structure; but, with some old English good taste and decorum. 😉

  30. Jon p
    Posted April 17, 2017 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

    All of this talk about the sovereignity of parliament is a load of foolish nonsense.. it will not atter two hoots to the ordinary man living on the fourth floor of a high rise.. nothing will change except life will be much harder and am afraid holidying and retiring to the south of france and spain in old age – even for the slightly better offs – will be a thing of the past and totally out of the question in the future-

    however the parliamentarian classes will still be able to buzz off to the the bahamas and other points west..but for the rest of us..better suck it up.. in the meantime the only illegal immigration happening in this part of the world will be the mad scramble of young able english people trying to get out and get a foohold in the EU.. any bets?

  31. Establishment
    Posted April 17, 2017 at 11:23 pm | Permalink

    Trump will go down in US history as the only Presidentt of any Party to utterly and completely fail on domestic and foreign issues within such a short time.
    Whilst half the US Navy is paddling about off the North Korean coast unable to fire anything more than a hand-held water pistol, the UK sold North Korea a fully working beer brewery from Trowbridge literally lock stock and barrel years ago. MAKE THE UK GREAT AGAIN!!

  32. Lighthouse
    Posted April 17, 2017 at 11:50 pm | Permalink

    The US battle fleet off the coast of North Korea will just about be on minimum water rations by now. No way the sailors can take a shower. The beginnings of skin diseases as evident in our own ships in the Gulf War. Most of our sailors returned with skin conditions and hungry. The US fleet of course on this “Great Armada” had no time whatsoever to stock up and arrange even minimal replenishments. Their Mother of All Battles is now to stay afloat and issue waterwings to all crew members. Trump is literally out of his depth.

  33. Peter D Gardner
    Posted April 18, 2017 at 2:40 am | Permalink

    I gather from the comments so far that hardly anyone understands Henry VIII Powers. For anyone really interested I recommend the UK parliament website which states: “The Government sometimes adds this provision to a Bill to enable the Government to repeal or amend it after it has become an Act of Parliament. The provision enables primary legislation to be amended or repealed by subordinate legislation with or without further parliamentary scrutiny. Such provisions are known as Henry VIII clauses, so named from the Statute of Proclamations 1539 which gave King Henry VIII power to legislate by proclamation.”

    The obvious conclusion is that such powers are granted by Parliament at the request of government on a bill by bill basis. Can’t see what’s wrong that. If Parliament doesn’t like them it won’t grant them.

    • Peter D Gardner
      Posted April 18, 2017 at 3:06 am | Permalink

      PS a wider explanation of delegated powers is also given on the UK Parliament website. There is much confusion in the commentary about them, but its seems very few commentators take the trouble to research them.

      It seems very few understand the WTO either, but this is enough for now.

  34. Antoine Bisset
    Posted April 20, 2017 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

    Why the opposition think that standing behind the card player and calling out the hand will help the player to win is beyond me. Yet that is what hass been happening since last June.
    “It should also be the loyal Opposition, recognising the impact its words may have on the UK’s position in the EU talks.”
    The word” loyal” is used loosely, I suppose and includes people like Ken Clarke for whom the vote of the people is just a nuisance that should be set aside by those who know better, such as himself.

  35. Protestant Reformed
    Posted April 20, 2017 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

    Parliament is media led and collectively insane.

  • About John Redwood

    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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